The Jat quota stir last month witnessed mindless violence, which led to business loss of over Rs 20,000 crore, loss of 30 lives, and a severe dent in Haryana’s image as an ideal investment destination.
The violence also brought up several stories of bravery. One such story involves Prema Devi, a 60-year-old widow, who stood up to prevent rioters from setting a petrol pump on Rohtak’s Gohana road on fire.
She stood guard outside the filling station for four hours with a stick in hand, and a result saved hundreds who live in a settlement right behind it.
Devi refused to budge despite the fact that no one else came out of their houses.
Prema Devi, who was lauded for her courage, was honoured by the Delhi Commission for Women on International Womenâ€™s Day.
The citation for her award read:
“One rioter had even lit up a match stick to burn the pump, but Premji did not give up. She was able to convince him by reminding him about the colony adjoining the pump and the innumerable residents that live there. This degree of courage, in the face of a rioting mob… is an inspiration and lesson to all that even one person can make a difference.”
The courage and determination that Prema Devi showed in front of violent agitators shows us that only one person can be enough to bring out the change.
Her act was captured in the CCTV footage. Her husband, who was in BSF, died in 2010. She cannot read or write but is proud that one of her son is a bank officer and other goes to college.